Top 10 Ways to Use a Tea Towel | Melissa Colson


So what is a tea towel exactly? Practical and pretty, the tea towel is one of the most versatile and under-utilized household items. Chances are you’ve probably used them to dry your hands, but tea towels are no ordinary kitchen towel! Less bulky than terry cloth, they're typically made of soft linen or cotton and as such, they can support more decorative and detailed designs. They are truly one of my favorite things to collect and give away, so I wanted to share my top ten creative uses for this home decor workhorse.

1. Line a Serving Basket or Tray

Victoria Damask Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Make your guests feel extra special and serve them a meal on a tray accented with a bright tea-towel. Or dress up a wine and cheese board for a chic, girls night-in. Even the simplest meals and hors d’oeuvres seem to taste better when they’re plated nicely. Pictured is our Victoria Damask tea towel in blush/pink.

2. Dress up Your Powder Bath

Paeonia Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Tea towels aren’t just for the kitchen anymore! They make lovely, elegant guest towels as well. One of my favorite things to do with tea towels is roll several up in a cute basket or container and place in the powder bath. Our towels are the perfect blend of softness and crispness and hold their shape nicely as they’re not too thick and bulky. Or try stacking several in a decorative tray or on a shelf for easy access. Pictured is our Paeonia tea towel in blush.

3. Wrap Up Warm bread or Cover Rising Dough

Bright Delights Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Fresh bread tastes sooo much better when it’s warm. I mean, if you’re going to have the calories, you might as well really enjoy what you’re eating, so make it count! For that “right out of the oven” effect, wrap your warm bread in a pretty tea towel and serve in a basket at your next dinner party. Our cotton towels are breathable enough to let moisture out while holding in the heat, so your bread stays warm not soggy. Tea towels are also excellent for covering the bowl as your dough rises. Pictured is our Bright Delights tea towel in wistful blue.

4. Place Under a Cutting Board

Woodland Check Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

There is nothing more unsafe than a cutting board that’s sliding around on the counter as you’re wielding a sharp instrument! Try dampening a tea towel and placing it underneath your work surface. It’s just thin enough to keep it securely in place without raising the height too much. This was one of the first cooking lessons I taught my kids and it really makes prep work so much easier. Trust me on this…you’ll thank me later. Pictured is our Woodland Check tea towel in dark green.

5. Keep Your Teapot (or French Press) Warm

Delight Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the original purpose for the tea towel! Since their first noted appearance in 18th century Britain, tea towels have been used in tea service, both to keep the teapot warm as well as decorate the tray or table. If you’re more of a coffee drinker like myself, try wrapping a tea towel around your french press to hold in the heat while it infuses. Pictured is our Delight tea towel in wistful blue.

 6. Line a Produce Bowl

Light Up Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

A soft tea towel is the perfect way to cushion your produce and style an eye-catching centerpiece. Line your bowl with one of our towels, add fruit on top, and place on the counter or table. My kids are so much more likely to actually eat fruit if it’s out in front of them and accessible. Pictured is our Light Up tea towel in happy aqua.

7. Dry Your Dishes

Light as a Feather Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Replace a clunky drain board that’s impossible to keep looking clean with a simple rack and tea towel. It takes up far less counter space and brings another opportunity to add a design element into your space. Our soft, 100% cotton tea towels are perfect for drying fragile china. Or let your dishes air-dry and simply toss the towel in the wash when you're done. They actually get softer the more times you wash them. Pictured is our Light as a Feather tea towel in wistful green.

8. Replace Paper Towels

Woodland Ferns Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Try keeping a tray in your kitchen with a stack of folded tea towels in place of paper towels and you’ll always have a fresh towel on hand. Much easier on the environment (and your wallet) tea towels are re-usable time and time again and lets face it…they’re just so much better looking! Pictured is our Woodland Ferns tea towel in cloud white.

9. Use in Place of a Hot Pad or Trivet

Fun and Games Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Put the “style” back in family-style dining and place a tea towel underneath your pot to protect your table from the heat. An added bonus is that it dresses up your dining space with color and pattern. Pictured is our Fun and Games tea towel in wistful green. 

10. Hang it on Display

French Culinary Terms Tea Towel | Melissa Colson

Perhaps the most obvious way to use your tea towel is to hang it on display in your kitchen. Whether you drape one over the sink or hang a couple on the range, tea towels are a practical way to add style and pattern to your kitchen decor. You can also try one of our calendar tea towels instead of a traditional wall calendar for a charming way to keep track of the date. Pictured is our French Culinary Terms tea towel.

Well there you have it! My Top 10 favorite ways to use a tea towel. There are many more clever ways to use a tea towel than I have room to include here. You can shop all of our new tea towel designs to create your own curated collection. We've taken the guesswork out of pattern matching and designed our collections to coordinate so you can effortlessly mix and match patterns. I'd love to see how you use them so leave a comment below or share a photo of your creative ideas with me on social!

October 15, 2020 — Melissa Colson

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